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“Don’t Say Gay” Statute Sparks Councilman Rant

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Metro Nashville Councilman Jamie Hollin shouted at colleagues who blocked his proposed commendation of students who protested what has become known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill and then left the council chamber.

Hollin later launched into what The Tennessean described as “a profanity-laced rant” after Tuesday night’s council meeting at which his motion to suspend chamber rules to consider the commendation failed.

The motion failed when colleagues Jim Gotto and Phil Claiborne objected. Gotto is also a state representative. The state Senate this year passed a measure that would bar discussion of homosexuality in school below the high school level. A House version stalled in committee, but could come up again next year.

Hollin wanted to commend students who had protested the bill. He had missed a committee meeting at which the resolution could have first been presented, but chamber rules had been suspended to consider two previous resolutions, the newspaper reported.

After yelling at Gotto and Claiborne, Hollin stormed out of the chamber. The meeting was adjourned shortly thereafter.

Outside the chamber, Hollin confronted Claiborne, cursing at him and saying Claiborne objected to his resolution on religious grounds.

Hollin said the objection to rules suspension by Gotto and Claiborne were motivated by anti-gay bias.

“They collectively represent the worst in us,” Hollin said.

Gotto declined direct comment, saying only that he was sorry Hollin was upset.

Claiborne was unavailable by telephone Wednesday and a call was left for him, seeking comment.

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Associated Press

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